Growing up I wanted to be lot’s of different things; a cowboy, a lawyer, a rock star… but never really gave much thought to being a school bus driver. We’ve all seen the reports of ill-behaved children and all the problems they can cause for the bus driver, and quite honestly this notion never really appealed to me. Until today. If someone had said to me all those years ago, “become a bus driver and you will get to drive the coolest hot rod school bus in town”, I’d probably have dropped everything and pursued that with all the gumption I could muster.
Today’s post finds us back at our photoblog series “The Toads At The Sportsplex” where we visited the Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2013. This years show was really terrific, featuring all sorts of vehicles representing a wide variety of interests and ages. We found motorcycles, cars from all years and genres, trucks, show cars, daily drivers… and one of the hands-down coolest school buses I’ve ever seen.
Aptly named the “Cool Bus”, this classic GMC bus chassis has taken on a whole new life from where it started as a bright yellow canister designed to transport a gaggle of wee ones to and from their respective places of learning. Transforming a vehicle like this from a utilitarian purposed bus to a personal vision of a hot rod school bus is no easy feat. Close scrutiny of this particular bus really shows some of the features and concepts that make this baby stand out from a crowd, and perhaps even entice some children into looking at their bus in a whole different light.
The chrome on this vehicle is without peer. All the chrome found in the bumpers and detailed trim are what makes a 50’s era vehicle what it is, and the owners of this bus really focused on that aspect of it. The rich yellow paint gleamed in the hot summers day, reflecting the wonderful lines that make up the flowing body shape. The addition of the flames really takes this one up a notch, these particular flames are just meticulously applied making for a great effect. I’m also fairly certain this bus has been shortened, turning it instantly from a vehicle with purpose to one of the funnest buses ever. The roof might have been chopped a few inches as well, although this I am not sure about. We’d have to have feedback from the owner to know for sure. Before we move on from this shot, you might also notice the delicate details painted on the side mirrors and all the great vents and louvers that this genre of vehicle is really famous for.
We just loved the level of detail and attention that went into this design. A dreamcatcher hangs in the back window and a lovely mural of a white wolf is painted on the inside of the back door. Even the School Bus sign about the door has been subtly created to show-off the Cool Bus moniker that this unit now so proudly wears.
When we were kids, my best friend and I borrowed a bus that was converted to a camper for a weekend getaway. The combination of creature comforts found in our RV coupled with the awesome character of the classic bus made for a great time that neither of us will ever forget. This undoubtedly has left a soft-spot in my heart for these old, classic buses, and seeing one all hot rodded up and so obviously appreciated and loved by its owners is a real highlight.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I think we should advocate for buses like this everywhere. Let’s take Little Johnny as an example, let’s say he’s pulling on Sarah’s pig-tails in the back of the bus. A quick application of throttle will find Johnny firmly planted back in his seat, and the wonderful howls emitting from the grumbly V8 under the ol’ hood there could further enhance the feeling of fear and respect for the bus itself. It could really be used as a power of good to keep all the wee ones sitting safely and politely in their seats as the bus driver, who is having more fun than should be expected in a job like this, cruises around in the hot rod school bus.
If anyone sees a job listing for this, please let me know right away so I can get my resume on the pile at the very top.
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